The Rise of Chat-bots Friday 23 February 2018 @ 11:55

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The use of Artificial intelligence in customer service is becoming increasingly popular. Industry analysts IDC and Gartner have some interesting predictions for the future of chat-bots and virtual customer assistants.

 
 

 

Depending on what science fiction movies you’ve seen, the idea of interacting with a bot could either excite or terrify you. Whatever your opinion – it’s predicted to become a more regular part of our lives sooner than you might think.


According to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC), by the year 2021 Artificial Intelligence will be “everywhere”. The global analytics company predicted that 85% of commercial enterprise apps will be using AI in some way, meaning companies will be able to automate the basic tasks that normally require human intelligence. These tasks can include activities like visual perception, speech or facial recognition, language translation and decision-making.

While Artificial Intelligence can span a range of areas, the study did predict specific advancements in AI when it came to chat-bots. It said by 2021 65% of consumers will interact with customer support bots, as organisations shift away from human operated web-chat.


65% of consumers will be interacting with chat-bots by 2021.

While chat-bots themselves have been around for a while, the predicted growth in this area will be around making the technology more accessible to all kinds of businesses hoping to automate the operational aspects of their business.

A separate study by industry analyst Gartner determined that only around 2% of businesses were using a chat-bot function as a part of their customer service and support operations in 2017. However with the increased adoption of the function and advancements in technology, Gartner predict that number will jump to 25% by 2020.

Managing vice president of Gartner, Gene Alvarez, said there’s already been a huge shift towards chat-bots or Virtual customer assistants (VCA) in recent years as companies recognise the benefits of automated self-service, with the ability to escalate to a human agent in complex situations.

"As more customers engage on digital channels, VCAs are being implemented for handling customer requests on websites, mobile apps, consumer messaging apps and social networks," Alvarez said.

"This is underpinned by improvements in natural-language processing, machine learning and intent-matching capabilities."

Organisations using chat-bot technology recorded a 70% drop in call, chat and/or email enquiries after implementing the technology. They also reported an increase in customer satisfaction overall.


Customers interacting with chat-bots reported increased satisfaction.

While AI is aimed at helping ease the operational pressure on Australian businesses, the report also indicated a negative aspect when it came to the digitalisation of business. As the technological support for business advances, the half-life of Australian businesses is actually shrinking. The IDC paper reported the shorter lifespan could come down to organisations struggling to keep up with the constant technological advancements required to stay afloat in the fast-paced field of technology.

You don’t have to wait until 2021 to start improving your business with intelligent technology. The Virtual PBX comes with 30 included business-grade features including the Auto-attendant – a virtual phone assistant that directs incoming enquiries to the information they need or the department they need to speak to. The Auto-attendant is one of MyNetFone’s most popular features, with the ability to use multiple in conjunction with one another to create a network of information for your customers.

Check out MyNetFone's complete suite of features for business